This column is archived at: http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2007/cbarchive_20070803.html
I have served the Lord as an evangelical Christian all of my adult life. As a Christian, I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I believe Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for my sins, and that He physically rose from the grave. I believe He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, where He "ever liveth" to make intercession for the saints.
I have had the privilege of winning numerous souls to Christ. As a veteran pastor of more than 30 years, I have had the joy of baptizing many hundreds of converts. I believe in the local church. I believe in missions. I am also an American.
As an American, I revere the history and heritage of this great country. I hold America's Founding Fathers in deepest regard. I believe the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights set forth the greatest political principles and form of government ever devised my man. I believe in individual freedom, national sovereignty, and states' rights. Furthermore, I believe that my devotion to God does not, in any way, contradict or conflict with my devotion to my country. In fact, my devotion to God augments my devotion to my country.
I say all of that to say this: it greatly disturbs me to see many of my Christian brethren using their Christianity as an excuse for apathy in regard to the demise of our constitutional republic--as if the maintenance of liberty and independence is not their concern.
The preservation of liberty and independence should concern every American, whether Christian or not. In fact, it appears that many unbelievers show more discernment and resolve in fighting for liberty and independence than do many professing believers. How can this be?
Christians, of all people, should be the first to fight for America's historic principles, as it was our Christian forebears that carved this land of liberty out of a wilderness of persecution and oppression. Have we become so lazy and indifferent as to be oblivious to what our children and grandchildren will be forced to endure, if we are not willing to preserve this land of freedom? It seems that many of us have become just that.
I often hear Christians, and even my fellow pastors, say things such as, "God has not called us to get involved in politics," or "This President is God's man, and while we should pray for him, we should never oppose him," or "This is all part of prophecy; there is nothing we can do about it." To all of that, I say, Balderdash!
If someone breaks into your home in the middle of the night with the intention of raping your wife and daughters and killing you and your family, are you going to say, "This is all part of prophecy; there is nothing we can do about it"? Or, are you going to grab the nearest gun or baseball bat and take his head off?
If George W. Bush's push to merge America into a North American Union is the "fulfillment of prophecy" and should not be resisted, then why should we resist al-Qaida? Who are we to say what is or what is not the "fulfillment of prophecy"? In addition, consider this: if it is true that policies such as NAFTA, the Patriot Act, and efforts to merge the United States into a New World Order are helping to fulfill prophecy, it is equally true that all this is Satan's doing, which places everyone who supports it on the wrong side of prophecy, including many professing Christians.
Yet most of my fellow believers who say we have no Christian duty to oppose President Bush as he strips us of our liberties, defies our Constitution, and makes a mockery of justice, will turn around and shout the loudest in support of a war against a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11 and did not even pose a legitimate or imminent threat to our country. Besides, even if it did, using the same logic of many Christians, "It is part of prophecy; there is nothing we can do about it."
Do we not understand that freedom and independence are precious gifts of God and should be considered such? Just as life is valuable and precious and must be defended, so liberty is worth defending, whatever the cost.
To those of my Christian brothers and sisters who piously promote the idea that we should never oppose President Bush because he is "God's man," to those who say that God has not called us to "get involved in politics," to those who say that we should sit back and do nothing while corrupt and evil men steal our heritage, rape our Constitution, and destroy our national sovereignty and independence because it is all "predicted in the Bible," I say, How dare you?
How dare you celebrate Independence Day on the Fourth of July? When you celebrate Independence Day, are you not extolling men who took up arms against their own government? These men were pronounced traitors and terrorists by their government. These were men who fought and killed their fellow countrymen in a savage fight for independence. How dare you celebrate Independence Day, wave the Stars and Stripes, and then turn around and say that we have no right to resist the powers that be?
How dare you say the Pledge of Allegiance in school or in church? How dare you sing the National Anthem at a ball game? How dare you go vote or encourage others to vote? There is absolutely nothing more political than voting. Are we not interfering with God's will when we vote? After all, whatever happens and whoever is elected is all part of prophecy, so how dare we get involved in politics by going to a voting booth?
While we are on the subject of voting, I seldom heard my fellow Christians talk about the President being "God's man," who should only be prayed for, but never resisted, when Bill Clinton was President. And I suspect my fellow Christians will not be using that same mantra if and when Hillary is elected President of these United States. Suddenly, pastors throughout America will be screaming for Christians to "get involved in politics" and resist the evil Hillary. So much for our principles.
Furthermore, how dare you claim your church contributions as a tax deduction? How dare you hire an attorney to represent you in a court of law? How dare you claim the right to own a firearm? How dare you call, write, fax, or email your congressman or senator and voice your opinion about anything? How dare you insist upon any rights that are guaranteed under our Constitution and Bill of Rights?
By doing any of the above, we prove that we do not really believe that we should not get involved in politics. We prove that we do not really believe that we have no obligation to stem the tide of evil in our society. We prove that we really cannot fully comprehend the mind and timing of God in matters of prophecy. (Which means we really do not know when Jesus is coming again, but have a duty toward God and our country until He does.)
What all of this does prove, however, is that we want to pick and choose our obligation. We are willing to do what is expedient, easy, and enjoyable. But we are unwilling to put our backs into the arduous task, engage the powerful adversary, or challenge the popular notion. Our Christian principles have little to do with conviction and much to do with convenience.
Had our Christian forebears acted as we do, we would still be a Crown colony today, without the freedom and independence that America has enjoyed for these past two hundred years. Think about it: there would be no Constitution. No states' rights. No Bill of Rights. No right to keep and bear arms. No right to privacy. No right to be secure in our own homes. No constitutional protections in court. No constitutional protections for speech, religion, or redress of government. No constitutional protection for the freedom of the press. The foundational principles upon which our entire society and way of life rest would be nonexistent.
By refusing to hold our President accountable to the Constitution, by promulgating the idea that Christians should not get involved in politics, by standing idle as political and corporate forces work to steal our national sovereignty and independence, we are surrendering everything that Americans have historically held precious.
It is another thing for people who are born into tyranny and oppression. Not everyone has the opportunity to rid themselves of these monsters. Don't you know that Christians in China would love to live in America? What about the Christians in North Korea and Iran? What about the Christians in Saudi Arabia? Would they not love to live in America? Think of the Christians who endured Stalin's purges and Mao's slaughters. Would they not have given anything to have lived in the United States of America?
It was our forefathers in America that paid the price in suffering, tears, and blood in order to be able to bequeath to us, their posterity, freedom and independence. And ever since, America has been that shining "city upon a hill" for every man and woman who yearns to breathe free.
Dear Christian friend, do you mean to tell me that we are supposed to sit back and let men (even well-intentioned men) destroy our constitutional republic? Do you mean to tell me that we are not to resist the evil machinations of those inside our country as vehemently as we would those who seek our destruction from afar?
If Nathan the prophet dared to confront the great King David, the man after God's own heart, one of the three greatest men of the Old Testament, do you mean to tell me that we should not be willing to resist those within our own government (regardless of party or religious profession) who would play fast and loose with our liberties? I say again: Balderdash!
When I became a Christian, I became a citizen of Heaven; it is true. However, I did not relinquish my citizenship in these United States. And neither did you. As the Apostle Paul used his Roman citizenship for his own advantage, so should you and I, as Americans, relish and preserve the freedoms and independence that God has granted us.
Should this generation of Christians allow America to slip into the abyss of oppression by surrendering our freedom and independence (which we are dangerously close to doing), there will not be enough Scripture verses or personal excuses in this world or the world to come to cover our shame.
My dear fellow Christians, I appeal to your honor, your sense of patriotism, your respect for your fathers, your concern for your children, your love of liberty, and your duty to God: tear away the blinders, look past your own comfort, cast aside the temptation of self-promotion, and fight for your country!